Obama urges Americans to keep up pressure for tighter gun control

WASHINGTON Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:39pm IST

Two women embrace outside the wake for Victoria Soto in Stratford, Connecticut, December 18, 2012. Soto, a teacher, was a victim of Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin

Two women embrace outside the wake for Victoria Soto in Stratford, Connecticut, December 18, 2012. Soto, a teacher, was a victim of Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Credit: Reuters/Michelle McLoughlin

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama urged Americans on Friday to keep up the pressure on lawmakers to tighten gun regulations as a result of the mass shooting of 26 people in Newtown, Connecticut, a week ago.

Obama issued a videotaped response to the several hundred thousand people who have signed a petition posted on the White House website calling for toughened gun laws in response to the shooting, in which 20 school children and six adults were killed at a Newtown school.

"I need your help," Obama said in the video. "If we're going to succeed, it's going to take a sustained effort from mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, law enforcement and responsible gun owners, organizing, speaking up, calling their members of Congress as many times as it takes, standing up and saying 'Enough' on behalf of all our kids."

Obama has called for Congress to approve a ban on the sale in the United States of military-style assault weapons, a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips, and to ensure everyone gets a background check before they buy a gun, even if the purchase takes place at an open-air gun show currently exempt from such requirements.

For years Americans have been reluctant to impose greater restrictions on gun purchases, but the Newtown shooting has changed many minds and Obama is seeking to take advantage of the shift in attitude.

He has directed Vice President Joe Biden and a team of Cabinet officials to offer concrete proposals by next month on how to tighten gun laws and improve Americans' access to mental healthcare, strengthen school safety and address a culture that glorifies guns and violence.

Obama said he would push for these proposals early next year.

"You've started something and now I ask you to keep at it," he said.

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

FILED UNDER:

World Wrap

Reuters Showcase

Indian Healthcare

Indian Healthcare

Exclusive - Payment delays dent India's flagship health, AIDS programmes  Full Article 

India-Pakistan Ties

India-Pakistan Ties

Indian, Pakistani foreign secretaries to meet in Islamabad.  Full Article 

Food Security

Food Security

India will not cut multi-billion dollar food handout programme - PM   Full Article 

Ola's Expansion Drive

Ola's Expansion Drive

Taxi group Ola steps up expansion drive  Full Article 

Controversial Film

Controversial Film

Film on 2012 Delhi gang rape stokes debate on Indian male mindset  Full Article 

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Sahara's Grosvenor House hotel in London put up for sale   Full Article 

Beef Trade

Beef Trade

Maharashtra clamps down on beef trade through new act  Full Article 

Environment Concerns

Environment Concerns

Deforestation could shift monsoons, leaving India high and dry.  Full Article 

 'Smart Cities'

'Smart Cities'

India's 'smart cities' would be stupid without disaster strategy  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage